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We are getting a puppy! We are getting a puppy! We are getting a puppy!!

(55 Posts)
GreenTee Wed 29-Jul-15 20:06:36

I am so bloody excited I could squeal.

We are getting a puppy at the end of September. A beautiful Siberian Husky. She will be 14 weeks old. I have been wanting to get a furbaby for years and years but DH has always been reluctant. He then gave me the go ahead a few weeks ago to start looking for a puppy to add to our family. He adores huskies, as do I.

So, I have been doing my research and making sure I know all of the obvious facts for bringing up a husky! I am confident that I know what to expect with a lot of it. However, I was seeking any of the -not so obvious- tips?
We have a 7 year old son with suspected ASD. Any tips on helping him with the transition. He is so very excited, but will probably still need preparing.

Fire away!
Thanks.

Florin Wed 29-Jul-15 21:02:47

Hope it goes well for you, stock up on wine puppies are hard work but are so worth it.
Not an ideal choice of a 1st dog huskies are probably the hardest breed there is. How much time can you dedicate to walking it/working it? How come you can't get it until 14 weeks?

StarsInTheNightSky Wed 29-Jul-15 22:37:51

I've had huskies before and loved them, very different dogs to many other breeds as they have a different mindset. I now have two Caucasian Ovcharkas and a Fila Brasiliero (we're not in the UK) and they certainly make huskies look like very easy dogs to train and handle.
Our huskies were fantastic dogs, we fed them a raw diet (all our dogs have raw) and gave them plenty of exercise and plenty of mental stimulation, such as teaching hand signals as well as voice commands and we honestly never had any problems. I agree 100% with the wine tip though, our Fila is a pup (well, twelve months old now) and good grief the rose tinted specs make you forget how much work puppies are! We've had adult rescue dogs for years which are considerably less draining! grin

Some breeds it is best to get them at 12-14 weeks (Caucasians and Filas are like that) so personally that would be fuss me, but I don't actually like the puppy stage anyway. Good luck and have fun!

StarsInTheNightSky Wed 29-Jul-15 22:38:39

* wouldn't fuss me, not would be

GreenTee Wed 29-Jul-15 22:50:36

Thank you for the replies.

So enlighten me, what testing situations am I about to let myself in for while she's in the puppy stage? grin

StarsInTheNightSky Wed 29-Jul-15 23:00:50

GreenTea I'm probably being unfair, I personally don't like puppy silliness, I prefer the more mature mindset of an adult dog. I love training my dogs, so that was never a chore. I think for me the worst thing was helping them to fit in with the other dogs and pets, as it was pretty stressful at times as I had to be extremely vigilant. Also the waking up in the morning wondering what was going to be chewed or destroyed (I never crate my dogs overnight) and then cleaning it all up. However careful I was there was always something of appeal to a pup to destroy.
I think that's about it really, there were great times too, its all a wonderful adventure smile

mmmuffins Wed 29-Jul-15 23:02:42

I have a 17 week old irish setter. My first dog. I did loads of research before going ahead, but it is much less fun and lot harder work than I thought it would be. It was only after I got my puppy that I found out about something called the "puppy blues," which I definitely felt for the first few weeks. This was probably due to the shock of the whole experience. So that is my puppy warning to you!

Things are improving a bit, but I do feel like I'm still at the base of the mountain in creating a pleasurable pet.

Is this your first dog? Husky is a very challenging choice, no?

mrslaughan Wed 29-Jul-15 23:07:20

I am really sorry to pour cold water on this , but a husky as a first dog? You are mad...and not in a good way. I would say by the threads we get on here that most first puppy owners are pushed to the brink by their puppies, and often think about rehoming......but they have chosen "easy" breeds - at least in comparison to a husky. They need a job , or they will be incredible destructive. So you need to be thinking at the very least you will do serious carni-cross ( running attached to your dog). But really you should be thinking about sledding or carting with them.

I am guessing your husband likes the look of them because they are wolf like.....how will he feel when his couch is destroyed or walls chewed through?

Seriously, do some more research about what is required to keep this breed sane and healthy and ask yourself honestly if you have the time and the inclination.

Frumpplump Wed 29-Jul-15 23:11:30

All the huskys/malamutes where I live aren't ever let off the lead due to the fact they don't come back. Even youngsters aren't off lead due to the fact they won't come back. I really wouldn't recommend a husky As a first dog.

travertine Wed 29-Jul-15 23:16:09

They are pack animals, I really wouldn't recommend this. Too much dog for you and for your boy. Please don't do this it is not the right choice for the dog or your family and I mean that with the best intentions.

SmartAlecMetalGit Wed 29-Jul-15 23:18:48

Make sure you're absolutely happy with the breeder, especially as you won't be getting the puppy until 14 weeks old. You need to be 100% confident that the breeder will be doing all the appropriate socialisation with the puppies before they go off to their new homes.

There are various health tests that should have been done on the sire and dam before being used for breeding. The breeder should be happy to show you the certificates (or photocopies of them for the sire unless they own him as well) and you can also look up their results here on the KC site as long as you have their full registered names.

You can see a list of which tests should be done here and there's a page with some useful information on the Siberian Husky Club website. The absolute bare minimum both parents should have had done is their eyes tested and their hips scored but preferably they should have had the two DNA tests (x-linked PRA and GM1) as well.

There's loads of really good information on the club site, including lists of the good points and bad points of husky ownership. Their page on buying a puppy is also well worth a read.

Get booked in to start puppy classes as soon as you can after the pup arrives. It's a good idea to ask if you can sit in on a training class before you sign up just so you can see what they're like. Whilst there are huskies that are reliable off lead the general consensus from the breed club and breed specific rescues groups is that they shouldn't be trusted off lead. That being so it's worth checking out your area to see if there any secure dog walking fields so you've got the opportunity to let the dog have some time off lead.

The Puppy Plan is an excellent website for planning socialisation and has a lot of great information about developmental stages and what you should be doing when.

GreenTee Thu 30-Jul-15 00:02:54

I am now realising that I have perhaps bitten off more than I can chew.

I will be giving it a lot more thought.

babyboomersrock Thu 30-Jul-15 00:42:04

I think that's wise, OP. Nobody wants to burst your bubble, but better to have a long think now than to spend months and years struggling with a dog which isn't suited to the average home.

Huskies are certainly beautiful creatures but they need a job, as others have said. Be even more wary if the breeder tries to tell you it'll all be fine - I'm surprised they think it's a good dog for a beginner and they should really be insisting you undertake the sort of exercise/training regimes outlined above. A gentle walk round the park a few times a day isn't going to be enough for a breed like that.

Honestly, there are so many lovely dogs out there waiting for a family. Think hard about what you can realistically offer in terms of exercise and training before you decide. Good luck in your search.

3luckystars Thu 30-Jul-15 01:05:17

No way! Don't do it! I have a son with asd too same age so i understand but please believe me, you do not want this stress in your life. Just take your time and consider other breeds.
Puppy's are mad, some people get really down after getting a puppy because they are such a nightmare. A husky puppy is way above most people's capabilities, they need someone with experience, loads of time and no children. Please think about this for another few months. Do not rush into this because this decision could impact the next 12 years of all of your lives. Best of luck.

stareatthetvscreen Thu 30-Jul-15 01:12:15

phew glad you're thinking it through op

3luckystars Thu 30-Jul-15 01:15:18

Maybe it's the right time but the wrong dog!

Would you consider a havanese? They are lovely dogs, much smaller, very calm and great with children with special needs. They don't shed and are good with children and are easy to get on with.
If you like a bigger dog, the Irish Soft Coated wheaten terriers are meant to be good with special needs also and don't shed but they are very rare.

There is a quiz online also that helps you choose the right dog breed for your family. I can post a link tomorrow for you. Good luck with your search.

CheerfulYank Thu 30-Jul-15 01:47:48

Huskies are mad grin I like them though, but I've only ever known them as work dogs. (I live in an area with heavy snows and know a few people who run sled dogs.) They need a lot of exercise.

Puppies in general are mad but they are adorable. As far as what you can expect...well, they eat a lot. Poo and wee a lot. The one I have now (lab) sheds anything he can get his teeth on and is very nippy. They need constant wearing out and lots of attention.

CheerfulYank Thu 30-Jul-15 01:50:06

*shreds

VetNurse Thu 30-Jul-15 07:48:54

Huskys are not a breed for a first time dog owner. I am an experienced dog owner and I wouldn't have one. They are vocal, need a lot of exercise, can be very strong willed and I have met quite a few snappy ones. Please do some more research. They are beautiful dogs but not for the faint hearted.

BabeRuthless Thu 30-Jul-15 08:34:37

A friend of a friend runs a husky rescue and he's seen a massive increase in abandoned dogs over the past couple of years. They're beautiful dogs but need such a lot of work. During the summer he has to walk his at 5am and again late in the evening because the days are too hot for the dog. Puppies are very hard work. My ds has autism & he was 7 when we got our dog. It turned out lives upside down and he found it really really tough at first. We've only got a small terrier too. If you're rethinking your breed choice then you're defintely making the right choice. I hope you find the right dog for you.

needastrongone Thu 30-Jul-15 08:50:43

Greentea I have had two puppies in the last 3 years, two spaniels, from working stock. They are lovely, friendly, biddable, gentle souls who I adore but bloody hard work too, two long walks a day and then training too to keep their minds ticking over. And spaniels are generally regarded as family orientated. Huskies are more independent I think? And high energy with a drive to work. I have never seen one off lead either.

Tell us your reasons for wanting a dog. What traits are you particularly looking for? How often do you want to walk for each day? How much would a dog be left? What commitments does your son have? What space do you have? Access to off lead areas? Provision for holidays? Financial commitment for insurance and general upkeep, food etc. Puppy training? etc

smile

Booboostwo Thu 30-Jul-15 09:10:41

Glad to hear you are re onside ring. Huskies are very difficult dogs and require a very specific lifestyle. They require enormous amounts of exercise and are best suited to owners who can run with them on a daily basis. They have awful recall and cannot be left off the lead. They howl day and night so you need to live very rurally. They are great escape artists, they dig under fences and climb fences so you really need a purpose built enclosure.

Getting any puppy at 14 weeks is very risky as you are relying on the breeder to have done all the socialisation for you and in circumstances similar to what you will come across with the dog.

Finally, some young children find the reality of living with a puppy to be quite different from what they imagined. Puppies can knock kids over, jump on them with sharp nails, bite them with sharp teeth, pull at their clothes and chew their toys. Has your son had experience with puppies?

Booboostwo Thu 30-Jul-15 09:11:13

'Reconsidering' not sure what happened!

MeganTrainer Thu 30-Jul-15 09:16:37

Oh OP I can sense your excitement and I really don't want to piss on your fireworks sad
But you really need to think about this.

Huskies are known to be independent, vocal and destructive if left alone.

They are bred to run and run, in a straight line, for up to 14 hours a day.

They aren't naturally biddable.

They are renowned for being escape artists and if bored, think nothing of clearing a 6 foot fence in search of entertainment.

A friend's NDN got one about 10 months ago. Waxing lyrical about what a well behaved pup it was. And so it was when it was tiny. Never strayed far from its owner. Nice and quiet. Now it's hit adolescence it howls - endlessly and loudly - whenever it's left alone. It's horrendously destructive and VERY clever at finding things to destroy no matter how well NDN thinks he's put things away/out of reach. It has to be kept on a long line because once the puppy tendency to stay close to the "grown up" wore off, it just used to disappear.
Some people tell you that it's possible to teach a Husky a reliable recall but I've known people who work their arses off at it and achieve success - until the day the dog doesn't recall (because it's chasing a bird) and is found miles away. Being a more primitive breed they just seem to lack the instinct to stay with their person in certain situations.

Of course exceptions exist and some people are better at training - and more suited to Husky ownership, lifestyle-wise - than others. Some Huskies are less "Husky-ish" than others.

But generally speaking I can only reiterate what PPhave said - Huskies are an awful choice as a first dog. Also 14 weeks is very late. You've already missed weeks of socialisation at just the time when the puppy would have pretty much accepted every new experience as harmless unless it was given reason to believe otherwise. You'll already be playing catch up.

I really hope you do reconsider.

YouMakeMyDreams Thu 30-Jul-15 09:23:51

Glad you're thinking about it. Dp and I are experienced dog owners and wouldn't have a husky. I've known an experienced family think they knee what they were taking on and put so much effort into training and exercise and still be driven to the brink, had carpets ripped up and walls eaten. They can't be let off lead. They are strong easily bored dogs. I have 3 dc but even with only one I really couldn't cope with what is involved with a husky.

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